Felony Larceny

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What Is Felony Larceny?

Felony larceny is a specific type of felony theft crime. In most jurisdictions, larceny is defined as the “unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another person, with the intent to permanently deprive them of its use.”

Larceny is usually a misdemeanor charge. However, theft crimes can lead to felony charges in some jurisdictions if the property stolen is above a certain amount (usually in the thousands of dollars). Felony larceny is sometimes called grand theft. 

What Are the Penalties for Felony Larceny?

Felony charges usually result in some serious legal penalties. These can include a prison sentence of over one year, and significant criminal fines. Penalties for larceny can increase in proportion to the amount stolen.

Also, some jurisdictions may create specific categories for felony theft crimes. For instance, there may be felony larceny in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree, with 1st degree being the most serious. 

Typically these will depend on the amount stolen. For instance, theft of up to $5,000 may be 3rd degree felony larceny; $5,000-$50,000 may be 2nd degree; and anything above that would be 1st degree larceny. Penalties would then be correspondingly higher, involving greater fines and longer prison sentences. The exact figures will likely be different in each jurisdiction.

Are There Any Defenses to a Felony Theft Crimes?

Felony theft charges can sometimes be difficult to defend against due to the high amounts of money that are involved in these types of cases. Perhaps the most common defense is a lack of “intent to permanently deprive” the other party of the property. For instance, if the defendant mistakenly thought that the goods or monies were their own, it may serve as a defense. 

In most cases, it is advisable to hire one’s own private defense lawyer, as state-appointed lawyers can sometimes have conflicts of interest with the defendant. Also, in many cases, it might be possible to reduce a criminal sentence based on the surrounding facts.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Criminal Charges?

Felony larceny is a serious offense and can often be complicated to defend against. If you have been charged with a felony, you should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area. Your attorney can provide you with the legal research and argumentation needed for your defense.

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Last Modified: 11-28-2016 04:38 PM PST

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